• Richard Blades

A critical look at entrepreneurship

For many years I've worked in the Small Medium Enterprises [SME] sector where the conversations generally revolve around entrepreneurship. Every year, I realise that there's a growing trend where the faces change but the concepts remain the same. As a consequence, here's what I have deduced.

If we continue on the current trend we will forever remain a small economy with a revolving cycle of small businesses. Annually, most business startups fall within these categories:

  • Beauty and nails

  • Spas

  • Skin care manufacturers

  • Cooking and baking

  • Fashion designing

Are we missing the boat? Are the people within our SME market lazy? Why is there a lack of true innovation? Our businesses are not growing to meet the rising costs of living. Our rate of developing million dollar businesses are too slow.

There is a need for an interdependence, rather than everyone running around trying to develop their own "great" idea. It means working together and growing exponentially. In sharing the struggles we can experience greater victories and more successes.

Individually, most businesses are too small to experience the favourable economies of scale necessary for facilitating larger projects. They are underfunded, and just don't have the credibility to attract the funds on their own to execute on the larger opportunities.

As a region, we need to know who is doing what so that we can make sensible referrals and collaborations. Remember, it is better to make 1% of a million rather than 100% of a thousand.

In our planning, it is necessary for us to become more practical and shrewd in our approaches to entrepreneurship. We must be cognisant that not all SMEs are to be termed as entrepreneurship. Many are using the words, entrepreneurship and SMEs, interchangeably and that is not accurate.

Think about developing businesses that bring significant value that is not currently experienced within the market place. How can you innovate to meet the identified needs? What can you do well and often to build a strong and profitable business that has potential beyond your current neighbourhood?

When you have identified these answers, then you can start looking at who can you work alongside that will help you increase your scale of development and productivity.

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